A new continent: WINTERSTEIGER expands to South America
The establishment of a new subsidiary in South America was another piece of the puzzle in WINTERSTEIGER's successful export policy. The company has therefore positioned itself on an even wider scale and achieved greater independence from individual regions and markets.
In December 2007, the Supervisory Board made the decision to found a subsidiary for South America. Curitiba, Brazil was chosen as the site. In addition to São Paulo, this city was the economic hub of southern Brazil and many companies had their subsidiaries for South America there. The WINTERSTEIGER subsidiary in Brazil was founded for intensive machinery sales and servicing of products in the seed breeding and wood thin-cutting divisions. Seed breeding customers in Brazil and wood thin-cutting customers throughout South America are looked after from Curitiba.
Startup phase in the economic crisis.
The beginnings for the branch in Brazil were a little bumpy: the many boom years in the parquet industry were followed by the economic crisis of 2008/09 and, at the same time, the total collapse of the market. Saturation had also been reached in the parquet sector. Erwin Sturmair and his team managed to get off to a very good start, at least in seed breeding. The potential was huge, as Brazil is the largest exporter of soybeans after the USA, with a very large amount of corn and cereal acreage.
In addition to economic turbulence, at the beginning there was the task of obtaining all permits for ordinary business operations, which took longer than expected. There is a lot of bureaucracy in Brazil in general and this is even worse for foreign companies: all deliveries to and from Brazil have to be recorded in a special database. Alongside registering in the commercial register and obtaining a tax number, another particular challenge emerged, namely the ability to participate in tenders online – back in 2008, this was essential in the seed breeding sector.
First team complete.
First team complete.
By the end of the first financial year, the team for the first phase was complete. In addition to branch manager Erwin Sturmair and assistant Daniele de Souza, Carlos Riberi started as a salesperson and service technician for Seedmech in December. As a freelancer with Geosolutions, Carlos had previously collaborated with WINTERSTEIGER for several years as a successful technician and salesperson.
Today, Carlos Riberi manages the subsidiary in Brazil. The office relocated to Palhoca in 2015 and an additional service branch was established in Uberlandia in 2018.